As Matt had to travel in Illinois this week and our niece Elora was going to be baptized, I decided to book a ticket and head to Chicago for the weekend so we could spend a little extra time with the family.
We had a good time soaking up our nieces. I guess the one good thing about seeing them less often than we used to is that we notice all the changes we see in them.
We thoroughly enjoyed this little one. She's all chub, cheeks, and smiles. She's kicking her legs and rolling over like she is gonna crawl soon. Next time we see her, she might be walking and talking a bit. This is her swimming for the second time on the afternoon her grandfather baptized her. Pretty cool.
This one jumped into bed the first morning we were there with "Wake up. Wake up. Wake up! So, when are you going to have a baby?" It was too early for a response this time. Next time she has questions about expanding the family gene pool, I'm sending her directly to her Uncle Matt.
She's right out of kindergarten, and read to us out of a book about space intended for third graders, hardly stopping to ask how to pronounce a word. She read the word "research", and many others, without skipping a beat. Sunday afternoon we all went to the park district water park. These are one of Chicagoland's best features. Matt and I both took a couple loops around the "crazy river" with her. I tried to convince her it is actually called the lazy river, and that you were supposed to lay back and relax, but she looked at me totally unconvinced right before we hit the waterfalls.
And the little one below I'm now calling a flibbertijibbet. Amazingly, she used to obediently march right up to bed when she heard, "It's time to take your nap." Now she's using every excuse to delay bedtime. She tried the, "Read it one more time," tactic on me and I firmly said no. Then she said, "Let's have some snuggle time." Right for my soft spot. So I gave in and laid down with her for a minute. She had her little arm on my shoulder, was smiling at me all content that she'd won, and then explained to me, "Snuggles are hugs."
Matt stayed an extra night and told me that last night she pulled the same trick on him.
She also charmed me into handing over the camera, after I got a few of her. So Matt and I had a short photo session with a 3 year old. I didn't crop these at all. I think she has some serious potential.
I also got to quickly catch up with a couple friends. Met my college roommate's adorable 11 week old little peanut, Sophie. My knitting mojo is super low right now, so she got my first attempt at embroidery instead. Finally gave in and bought a kit from Sublime Stitching.
And before flying out, I went downtown and very quickly reunited with a grad school friend I haven't seen in three years, before she moves back to the Philippines to finish up her dissertation. She was really nice and rode the L out to O'Hare with me. She doesn't know it, but awhile back she introduced me to this cool home for kids in Honduras that's worth checking out.
And then, after a thunderstorm and 2 hours of sitting on the runway, I got to see my favorite city from above again. Always forget how big it is and how many people live there. It's nice to feel at home in more than one place.